This week is National Library Week. This year I can say that I not only frequent the library, I work in one. I worked in a library right after high school, and always wanted to get back to one. Goal finally achieved. I am a shelver at Taylorsville Library. I am really enjoying my coworkers and the library itself. And I come home with a lot of books. So it’s a good thing I work at a library, not a bookstore. It’s wonderful being surrounded with books, working with books. And I get to help people on a topic I am passionate about, not some generic customer service that drains me.
Here are a few of my poems that express what the library means to me.
Brink of Chaos
The Great Escape
My Second Home
The library was my first love
perfect for a book-a-holic,
no budget could sustain my obsession.
A sacred space filled with treasures;
fingers trail on book spines…
so many choices
each one a new adventure–
Do I read an author tried and true?
or experience something new?
Some days I come
not for the books
but the atmosphere.
Sit back in an armchair
wrapped in hushed air,
soak in the rich love of words
infused between these walls,
let it inspire me…
flow through my fingertips
to fill the pages of my notebook.
Whether just starting as a poet, or well-experienced, you can learn by imitation. Choose a poem by another poet, classic or modern, and write a poem in the same style. There’s a few ways you could approach this:
- Write a poem as a direct response to the subject.
- Write your own poem inspired by the topic.
- Follow the poetry form only.
Here’s an example of one of my early poems. I personalized Emily Dickinson’s “This is My Letter to the World.” I kept it in a similar style, and thought: What would I say to the world?
My Letter to the World
What do I have to say to the world
That all but deserted me?
Would anyone listen to a single soul
Through the unheard art of poetry?
Although surrounded by others,
Wanting my voice to be heard,
I’m often isolated
For no one will hear my words.
Can I make a difference in someone’s life,
As others did in mine?
Will anyone read the simple words
That I wrote in my spare time?
I may be a shy, quiet person
But I have a message of my own;
Won’t someone come and discover
The soul within my poems.
The message of my poem remains true today. I want my voice, my poems, to be heard. I’d love it if you shared your own poem based on the prompt.
Publishing update! An unconventional way to (possibly) get my poems.
In Provo, Utah, you can visit Enliten Bakery and Café and get poetry for a quarter. Put together by Provo Poetry, you can put a quarter into a re-purposed gumball machine, the POEMBALL machine, and get a capsule with a poem by a local poet.
They also have a portable machine at Happy Valley Farmers Market, and will be having a third machine soon at Pioneer Book.
And now there is a chance that one of those poems could be mine! Three of my poems were accepted for the project, and each will be printed at least five times. So if you ever stop by Provo, stop in at Enliten Bakery and Café and take a chance. Be inspired.
I have also been submitting poetry, and my poem “Seeking that which is Lost” is in Snapdragon Journal‘s Summer issue “Journey”. You can get an annual subscription, or purchase the individual issue. Snapdragon Journal’s mission is to use creativity as a way to process and express the healing journey. The issue is a powerful, beautiful compilation and I am so proud to be a part of it. I have often used poetry as therapy, so I know its power and celebrate what they are accomplishing. I hope you check them out.
*This is a repost from my personal blog: marywjensen.blogspot.com
I’d like to share with you some quotes that really echo how I feel about poetry.
What is poetry?
“Poetry is the rhythmical creation of beauty in words.”
–Edgar Allan Poe
“Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance.”
Who is the poet?
“A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language.”
–W. H. Auden
Poets don’t publish for the recognition or the money. We do it because we want to connect with the world, with other people. To share human experience and emotion.
“Publishing a volume of verse is like dropping a rose-petal down the Grand Canyon and waiting for the echo.”
“Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood.”
“Poetry is a language in which man explores his own amazement.”
And, above all else:
“Musicians must make music, artists must paint, poets must write if they are to be ultimately at peace with themselves.
What humans can be, they must be. They must be true to their own nature.”
I am a Poet
A genius in disguise
Forms flow from my fingertips
Words and phrases grow within me
Waiting for ripeness
That moment when I write them
And another poem is born
Some people have a tradition of choosing a word, or a theme, to focus on or represent their new year rather than (or in addition to) traditional resolutions. It’s not something I’ve done in the past, but as the last year drew to a close there was one word that really resonated with me. A word that represents what I want to bring forth in the world, and project from myself.
What does this word mean to me?
Dance is energy, movement, joy. There is rhythm and flow. Words dancing across the page, fingers dancing across the keys. Being fit in body. Not falling stale and still. Not caring what others think. You can dance alone, or with a partner. If you dance with a partner, there must be a connection, and coordination. It doesn’t work if your steps are not aligned. Pick your partners carefully, in love and in business and in life.
How dance relates to my goals:
- Words dancing across the page, regular writing with the goal of finishing another novel.
- Poems compiled into a new chapbook, focusing on the theme of dance and music.
- Collaboration with my fellow Muselings on new projects.
- Losing weight and drinking more water, doing yoga, to be fit in body, have more energy and grace.
- Play the piano more frequently.
Do you choose a theme for the year? What are some of your goals, resolutions, or energies for 2015?
November always brings to mind family. It’s the month of my birthday, as well as Thanksgiving. So even on years where I don’t visit with family, they are still close to my thoughts and heart.
I come from a big family. I have eight siblings! And as much as I love them, love being around them, as an introvert I’ve always had to step aside and recharge a bit. Being in the thick of things can be overwhelming and draining. You’ll often find me on the outskirts, listening in on conversations but not always jumping in.
This poem was written for the Together Again prompt earlier this month from Poetic Asides.
Over food and games
Siblings catch up on the news,
their familiar chatter
carries down the hall…
comforted by their nearness,
content for the moment
to reunite with another friend;
I kick off my shoes, sit at the bench,
sigh at the familiar curve
of the pedal pressed beneath my foot,
the ivory beneath my fingers.
My hands fall into the patterns
despite months of time apart–
All else fades away
as I embrace the music.